The most common treatment for non-melanoma skin cancer is surgery. Because non-melanoma skin cancer is not prone to spreading, surgeons can often remove all traces of it from the body, resulting in an overall cure rate of nearly 95 percent. A surgeon can also help reduce the chance of recurrence by removing a small amount of surrounding healthy tissue during the initial procedure.
Skin cancer surgery can sometimes cause a few minor side effects, such as soreness and scarring, although certain advanced surgical techniques can help preserve nearby tissue and optimize cosmetic outcomes while maintaining an excellent cure rate. Moffitt Cancer Center offers all of the latest techniques for non-melanoma skin cancer surgery, including:
- Mohs surgery, in which a tumor is removed and examined, layer by layer, until no cancerous cells are found. Mohs surgery is offered in conjunction with the USF Department of Dermatology
- Dermabrasion, in which the top layer of skin is removed through friction, such as the application of small, polishing granules
- Cryosurgery, in which a small instrument delivers frozen gas (or another freezing agent) to a tumor to destroy cancerous cells
- Electrodessication and curettage, in which a tumor is removed with a curette (a sharp, spoon-shaped instrument) and bleeding is immediately halted with an electrical current delivered through a device with a needle-like tip
Moffitt’s skin cancer surgeons are among the most experienced in the field and perform a high volume of these procedures every year. Even rare and complex skin cancers, such as primary cutaneous lymphomas, can be skillfully treated at Moffitt. And, after skin cancer surgery, patients can trust Moffitt with their long-term monitoring and follow-up, benefitting from our unique surveillance programs that can help detect potential recurrences as early as possible.